2022 Wimbledon Women’s Singles Roundtable Predictions: Champion, Dark Horse, and Early Exit

Iga Swiatek training at Wimbledon.
Spread the love

Ahead of the third Grand Slam of 2022, five Last Word on Tennis writers – Vithun (@VitIllankovan), Jack Edward, Shane Black, Damian Kust (@damiankust) and Gavin Lang – make their Wimbledon predictions for the Women’s Singles tournament. We also have a separate roundtable for the Men’s singles.

Wimbledon Women’s Singles Roundtable Predictions

Champion – Who will win Wimbledon?

Vithun: (16) Simona Halep [ROU]

I’m sure most people will be backing Iga Swiatek but I don’t think she will be the champion. Once again she is entering a big tournament on a long win-streak, something I advise against; of the nine other longest WTA win streaks since 2000, five ended in Grand Slams, which is significantly over the proportion they make up of the tennis calendar. She managed to keep her win-streak at Roland Garros, although I don’t think this would have been the case had Qinwen Zheng not got injured in their 4th Round match after taking the first set. However, it seems unlikely for her to manage it a second time. Infact, I believe a pre Quarter-Final exit is coming. Swiatek has reached the quarter-finals or better at her last two Grand Slams. I believe the last time a WTA player managed a third Grand Slam quarterfinal in a row was Serena Williams at the 2019 Australian Open and so it would be another big milestone if Swiatek was able to achieve that.

The challenge then comes with trying to predict who will win instead. I think the winner will be someone who has already won a Grand Slam and/or Olympic Gold and/or previously made a Wimbledon semi-final. Out of those that fulfil this criteria, I am going to go with Simona Halep. The Romanian has a tough draw but that could easily disintegrate as this is the WTA. I am also not too concerned about her withdrawal from her semi-final in Bad Homburg as it seemed precautionary. This will be Halep’s first appearance at Wimbledon since winning the title in 2019 so she will have positive memories and given she was unfairly snubbed for opening proceedings on Centre Court on Tuesday, she may have some additional motivation too.

Jack: (1) Iga Swiatek [POL]

I think it would have been premature to call Iga Swiatek the winner before the draw was released. There are players Swiatek may not have matched up with particularly well on the grass which could have caught her cold. A quarterfinal with any of Qinwen Zheng, Elena Rybakina or Bianca Andreescu would be tough but at that point she should have settled into the tournament. Simona Halep could be her biggest threat but there’s no guarantee the Romanian makes it that far as her draw is far more difficult. Given her confidence and a cushy draw, Iga Swiatek is my pick for the women’s.

Shane: (1) Iga Swiatek [POL]

When it comes to Iga Swiatek, you have to roll with her until she lets you down. The 21-year-old has not lost a match since mid-February. She is 35-0 since then, winning 29 of those matches in straight sets. The young Pole is doing some absolutely unheard-of things on the WTA Tour right now. The one knock on Swiatek is that she did not play any grass-court lead-up events and is only 4-4 in her career on the surface. With that said, I trust somebody of her calibre to be able to adjust.

Damian: (1) Iga Swiatek [POL]

Naturally, my confidence in this pick isn’t nearly as high as the French Open, but I’m really struggling to find anyone else that has an over 5% chance. It’s just very open if Świątek loses and the draw she’s been handed does give her some time to find her rhythm. She’s never going to be as dominant as on clay, but it’s not like she can’t play on grass, there’s just more potential for an aggressive player to target her forehand and rush it (and perhaps attack the second serve as her kicker won’t be as dangerous here).

Gavin: (25) Petra Kvitova [CZE]

It’s always difficult to predict who will win on the WTA Tour, given the strong depth of the tour. However, Petra Kvitova really impressed me with her performances on route to the title at Eastbourne. The two time Wimbledon Champion blew Jelena Ostapenko away in the final, and at times the Czech player looked unbreakable on serve. Despite not having the best of seasons so far, Kvitova has enjoyed much success at the All England Club, and the Czech still has one of the best serves on the WTA Tour, and this combined with her forehand makes her a dangerous proposition for any player in the draw.

Embed from Getty Images

Dark Horse – Who will go furthest in the draw, relative to their seeding or hype?

Vithun: Bianca Andreescu [CAN]

The Canadian seems to be gradually getting back to her best level again, reaching her first grass court final in Bad Homburg this week. She is in the top quarter of the draw, which does contain a lot of big names but many of them are either out of form or due a disappointing Grand Slam result. Therefore, I think Andreescu can reach the semi-finals, four rounds better than her ranking projection.

Jack: (23) Beatriz Haddad Maia [BRA]

Bia Haddad Maia has been unstoppable on grass. With two consecutive titles under her belt and another quarterfinal, she has more confidence on the surface than anyone else in the draw and she has been given the opponents required to take advantage (provided she can take of Belinda Bencic in the third-round). The lefty’s huge game is consistently difficult for anyone to counter – she could tear her way through to the semifinals without batting an eyelid.

Embed from Getty Images

Shane: (28) Alison Riske [USA]

31-year-old American Alison Riske had her best career major finish at Wimbledon, a quarterfinal berth in 2019. I believe the #28 seed has a real chance to once again make some noise this week at the All England Club. Over her career, Riske has favored grass as her favourite surface. She has a 61.7% winning percentage on grass, 12.8% higher than any other surface. Riske reached the finals of Nottingham in early June and is having her best season since 2019. Riske is likely to face #7 seed and compatriot Danielle Collins in Round 3. This will be a tough match, but Riske did handle Collins less than eight months ago. If she can get by Collins, I believe Riske has a great chance to advance very deep into this tournament. Her quarter includes a young Emma Raducanu, and an aging Angie Kerber.

Damian: Alison van Uytvanck [BEL]

This pick was quite tough for me, especially as the women’s draw feels very open and predicting who will go deep is a bit of guesswork. Gonna go with the in-form Alison van Uytvanck, who’s produced a 12-2 win/loss record on grass so far and won the 125K in Gaiba and 100K in Surbiton. She’s made headlines at Wimbledon before, eliminating the defending champion Garbine Muguruza in 2018. Losing early in Bad Homburg could turn out to be a blessing in disguise as she’s now going to save up some energy ahead of the main grass event.

Gavin: Bianca Andreescu [CAN]

Bianca Andreescu is definitely a player to keep an eye on during this Wimbledon fortnight. The Canadian has a big powerful game, and has gone all the way at a grand slam before, at the 2019 US Open. Andreescu may have suffered with injuries since winning at Flushing Meadows, however this year the Canadian has showed some promising signs of a return to her best form. The Canadian also comes into the event slightly under the radar, due to the recent successes of the likes of Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff. The Canadian has the game to beat anyone in the draw.
Embed from Getty Images

Early Exit – Who will suffer the earliest exit, relative to their seeding or hype?

Vithun: (1) Iga Swiatek [POL]

As mentioned in my “Champion” answer, I am expecting Swiatek to exit the tournament before the quarterfinals. I do think she can reach the second week because of her consistency but this is as good as I believe it will get. If Swiatek was to lose in the 4th Round, that would be four outcomes worse than her ranking projection (as top seed), therefore making her my early exit pick.

Jack: (2) Anett Kontaveit [EST]

A combination of Slam pressure and tricky conditions should spell trouble for the #2 seed Anett Kontaveit. Her draw isn’t particularly easy either, the huge hitting of Julie Niemeier a possible second-round banana skin and Bencic, Haddad Maia and Kalinina all opponents I would put as favourites against her in the third and fourth rounds. She’ll make her breakthrough at a Slam at some point but not at this year’s Wimbledon.

Shane: (2) Anett Kontaveit [EST]

Although Anett Knotaveit is the #2 overall seed in the women’s draw, she is tied for the 11th best odds to win the tournament. The 26-year-old Estonian has played just three matches over the last two months, losing them all. She did not compete in any lead-up grass-court tournaments, something that will likely not bode well for her. Kontaveit drew current World #119 Bernarda Pera in Round 1. I do not know if Pera will beat her, but I do foresee the inconsistencies of Kontaveit plaguing her early in the tournament. In seven appearances, she has never made it to the second week at Wimbledon. I do not believe that changes this year.

Embed from Getty Images

Damian: (8) Jessica Pegula [USA]

The American could be in danger of going out in the opening round. Donna Vekic is an extremely capable grass-courter, having won Nottingham in 2017 and made a couple more WTA finals on the surface. She’s making her way back after a rough period of her career, but picked up so much steam in Birmingham and Eastbourne. Meanwhile, Pegula hasn’t played since the French and while she isn’t the most pleasant matchup for hard-hitters, Vekic seems to be a very live underdog in this one.

Gavin: (16) Simona Halep [ROU]

Simona Halep has not played her best tennis of late. The Romanian has recently teamed up with Patrick Mouratoglou, and the partnership has not got off to the best of starts. Halep faces Karolina Muchova in the first round. The Czech player has enjoyed success at SW19 in the past, having reached the quarter-finals in 2019 and 2021. Muchova has a big power game, and has the ability to put her opponents on the back-foot. Given the fact that Halep is not in the best form, and Muchova’s powerful game, I think the Romanian may struggle to deal with the power of the Czech.

Main Photo from Getty.